Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy says there was a time that Peyton Manning was so concerned the New England Patriots were bugging the visitor's locker room at Gillette Stadium that he would leave it to discuss the game plan.
Dungy, during an appearance on "The Dan Patrick Show," said that there's obviously no way to know for certain if the Patriots were in fact bugging the locker room, but indicated that Manning's personality and buildup made the quarterback take "everything to the nth degree."
The speculation that Manning believed the Patriots were up to some kind of locker room espionage originally was floated in a 2010 Peter King report, in which the SI scribe wrote (via Shutdown Corner):
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I've always heard, reliably, that the Colts never trusted that they were totally alone in the Colts' locker room in Foxboro, and that when Manning had something of strategic significance to say to offensive coordinator Tom Moore, they both stepped outside into the concourse outside the locker room. So if you're outside the locker room Sunday, don't be surprised to see Manning and his first-year coordinator, Christensen, huddling for a few minutes."
Dungy, now an NFL analyst with NBC, corroborated as much about Manning's fears in the wake of the Spygate scandal a few years earlier in his comments to Patrick.
"I know that that is very true, and, you know, as Peyton talked to guys who played for the Patriots, some of the guys who came over -- whether it's true or not he treated it as true," he said. We didn't have a lot of strategy discussions inside the locker room there."
Manning obviously had no way of knowing what kind of shenanigans the Patriots were pulling -- if any at all -- but he clearly felt it was better to be safe than sorry.
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